SAINT PETER OF DAMASKOS
Just as sick people need surgery and cautery to recover the health they
have lost, so we need trials, and toils of repentance, and fear of death
and punishment, so that we may regain our former health of soul and
shake off the sickness which our folly has induced. The more the
Physician of our souls bestows upon us voluntary and involuntary
suffering, the more we should thank Him for His compassion and accept
the suffering joyfully.
For it is to help us that He increases our
tribulation, both through the sufferings we willingly embrace in our
repentance and through the trials and punishments not subject to our
will. In this way, if we voluntarily accept affliction, we will be freed
from our sickness and from the punishments to come, and perhaps even
from present punishments as well.
Even if we are not grateful, our
Physician in His grace will still heal us, although by means of
chastisement and manifold trials. But if we cling to our disease and
persist in it, we will deservedly bring upon ourselves age-long
punishment. We will have made ourselves like the demons and so will
justly share with them the age-long punishments prepared for them; for,
like them, we will have scorned our Benefactor.
Taken from The Philokalia Vol3 ,Saint Peter of Damaskos Book 1 "A Treasury of Divine Knowledge"